Photo of Lee Reherman

Lee Reherman

Professional Fitness Expert

Best Racing Bike & Specialized Bikes

Featured On:

  • American Gladiators
Before we talk racing bicycles, remember as a kid, when you were ABSOLUTELY certain you could run faster with the “cooler” looking tennis shoe? Or maybe you’re a big Olympics fan, and every four years, after two solid weeks of being glued to the television, you run out and buy that stunning state of the art full body swim suit, only to realize after wearing it once, that it’s a tad snug for a middle-aged pooch belly?

Sadly, far too many of us “regular Joes” base an exercise gear purchase on this same theme that, “the latest and greatest” must be better, right? Now don’t get me wrong, the $2,500 kryptonite driver certainly has the potential to push your tee shot further down the fairway than that bent aluminum job that jerk Eddie left behind in the clubhouse, when he climbed out the bathroom window and stuck you with the $25 bar tab! But unless you see the US Open or the Tour De France in your future, do you really need the $3,000 computerized putter or the $5,000 feather light racing bike?

Ok, now to the topic of racing bikes. Because with racing bikes, this grandiose thinking can be especially expensive, I suggest that establishing realistic expectations is the first step in a racing bicycle purchase decision. Think about why you REALLY want a racing bike, and once that has been established, then its just “Xs and Os”! As a start, I’ve tried to do my part to keep your cost from hitting Biblical proportions, by selecting only those bicycles under approximately $3,000. I mean, if you can’t find a fantastic product for under $3,000, then you are way past my grade anyway! Then to finish up, I’ve stocked the Best of the Rest list with several very sensibly priced bicycles that certainly could be the product you’re looking for.

Regardless of whether you heed my general and/or specific recommendations, when searching for a racing bicycle, I suggest you consider:

1. What am I going to use if for? To get to work? Long rides on hot days?
2. Who will I be riding with? A racing club? My kids?
3. Where will I be going? Long flat stretches? Up hills?

Beyond that, if the above is clear, it should become a fairly self-explanatory decision based on comfort and durability.

For the best racing bike, don't spend hours searching when our experts have done the research for you. Find the right specialized bikes to fit your racing and exercise needs, as well as your budget.

Best Racing Bikes under $3K by Lee Reherman

The Best You Can Get

  • Novara Team Squadra Bike

    Lee says: The Novara Team Squadra Bike is modern racing engineering at its finest, and it’s sleek futuristic design looks really cool too! Novara delivers a smooth durable ride in a feather light package. Every thing from the Mavic wheels to the Ergonomic K Force handle bars are designed to limit wind resistance on the open road, and though you’ll probably seldom use them all, the full compliment of twenty speeds leaves nothing to chance.

    • Super lightweight C6 carbon monocoque frame and fork construction offers the ultimate in strength to weight ratio and reliability
    • Ergonomic FSA K Force handlebar boasts continuous carbon and kevlar composite construction, and other carbon goodies include FSA stem and seat-post
    • Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels with Vittoria Diamante Pro Light Tires give a lively, high-performance ride in a lightweight and rugged package
    • A precise and responsive system that is very rigid, strong, and powerful; double chain-rings and a 10-cog cassette combine for 20 speeds to power you up every hill and blaze you across every flat
  • Kestrel Evoke SL Full Carbon Road Bike

    Lee says: Kestrel has become a name synonymous with feather light engineering, and, not surprisingly, the Evoke is one of the lightest road bikes on our list. But despite the light weight, the Kestrel Evoke’s carbon fiber frame yields surprising handling even on some of the rougher terrain. The rims, fork, and shifters are all the quality you’d expect in a racing bike, and whether you plan on joining a racing club or are looking to train solo, the Kestrel is a serious bike, for a serious biker.

    • With a monocoque constructed 800ksi high-modulus carbon fiber frame, the SL is light and extremely strong, and the structurally integrated head tube, bottom bracket, and rear dropouts offer unbeatable power transfer
    • Ride-tuned stays and fork for perfect handling balance and feel
    • Replaceable derailleur hanger and full external cable routing with reinforced bottom bracket add surprising stability for a bike this light
  • Tommaso Forma

    Lee says: Speed, speed, and more speed, the Tommaso Forma may be the closest thing on our list to a truly race ready bicycle. It’s not a bike for casual riders, and because every ounce of excess weight has been engineered off of the bike’s design, it is certainly not a product you want to expose to rugged terrain. But if you’re a serious racer, or at least taking your racing seriously, then the Tommaso Forma might be worth a look. Also, the bike’s sleek futuristic style will get you some attention as you wiz by!

    • The Tommaso Forma Team level road race bicycle has all the attributes of a vibrant, athletic and sexy race machine
    • The 2.1 lb Full-Carbon Monocoque Tommaso Forma Frame is strikingly gorgeous with race proven geometry and aesthetically pleasing aero frame design
    • The frame is complimented by the Tour De France winning Full Dura-Ace 20 speed groupo, FSA SL-K Mega EXO Carbon Cranks, FSA K-Force Lite Carbon Seatpost, American Classic High Performance Pro Wheels, and full carbon aero fork
  • Principia Evolution SX Road Bike

    Lee says: Slightly more rugged than some of the other bikes on the list, the Principia Evolution is a road ready race bike that gives you plenty of the racing speed you want, but you don’t need to be afraid to take out on a spin with the kids, either. Still light, sleek, and aerodynamic, the slightly more hefty construction makes it a nice compromise if you’re looking for a bike that can be used simultaneously for both training and casual riding.

    • The head-turning Principia Evolution SX offers unbeatable rigidity and very light weight thanks to a handcrafted frame that is constructed of proprietary drawn, high-grade 7020 Swiss aluminum
    • The ultimate race-ready rocket for advanced and expert cyclists
    • Tube Insert Welding technique for lighter, stronger head-tube and BB junctions
    • Shifters, wheels, frames, and all other components are top of the line
  • Colnago Arte Road Bike

    Lee says: Colnago is an Italian brand synonymous with the highest quality professional racing bicycles, and the Arte delivers that professional racing quality in a surprisingly economical price tag compared to some of its other models. Pros will recognize the distinctive Colnago shapes of the frame and fork, and the sleek aluminum look and feel of the Arte are darn good looking, which might make you the talk of your bike club!

    • A truly elegant and exceptionally crafted road bike, the Colnago Arte is equipped with a 6000 series triple-butted aluminum frame with a carbon fiber rear triangle
    • Monobox chain stays and curved wishbone seat stays for improved braking and ride comfort
    • Drive-train shifters, brake levers, wheels and frame set all are of the highest quality

You will be happy with any of these

  • Kent GMC Denali Road Bike

    Lee says: Solidly built, with all the features of bikes ten times the price, the Kent GMC Denali Road Bike is an absolute steal, and thus, tops our Best of the Rest for economy. It certainly can’t match the lightweight and precision speed design of the higher priced pro racing bikes, but as outlined at the top, if you want a quality ride with top amateur racing specs, then the GMC Denali deserves a look. I’m told GMC does a pretty good job with cars, too!

    • An affordable road bike featuring components and quality usually only found on bicycles costing hundreds more
    • A lightweight aluminum frame, high-profile alloy wheels, and a 21-speed drive train by the technicians at Shimano are just a few of the standouts in this fast-moving package
    • Comes in both men’s and women’s frame design
  • Tommaso Trascinare

    Lee says: Tommaso hits our list again with the Trascinare, a more economical version of the Tommaso Forma from the Best of the Best. With the Forma, the premium price is for the engineering precision it takes to eliminate every possible ounce of extra weight to make it lighter and faster; the Trascinare is basically the same bicycle, just a little bulkier, which ironically makes it somewhat more durable! Thus, if you don’t mind a few extra seconds on your top “mile time,” then it might be worth saving a few bucks with the Trascinare.

    • A combination of a high-tech carbon frame designed to minimize fatigue while increasing efficiency and performance, coupled with the latest race-ready Shimano 105 20 speed group and Shimano reduced spoke count wheels
    • Trascinare was built for comfort and high performance, consisting of vibration dampening carbon seat stays, carbon chain stays, carbon top tube, carbon seat tube and carbon downtube complimented with Tommaso carbon fork and FSA SLK carbon seat-post
    • Better handling and a more comfortable lightweight reduced vibration fatigue ride, combined with state-of-the-art double-butted aluminum lugs in strategic locations
  • Mens Schwinn 700C Prelude Road Bike

    Lee says: Did you know Schwinn makes bicycles? I think I heard that somewhere. Obviously, I’m being silly, given that the Schwinn name is synonymous with bicycles! But the 700C Prelude Road Bike is one of the most economical Schwinn bicycles on the market today. Engineered with most of the higher end racing technology Schwinn puts into its more expensive models, the 700C can accommodate both men and women for casual riding, and isn’t a bad choice if you want to get out and really train hard from time to time.

    • Mens touring bike by Schwinn features aluminum road frame and fork, and Shimano 14-speed drive train with Shimano shifters
    • Promax Dual pivot caliper brakes, alloy road crank, Aero 36 spoke alloy wheels with radial laced front, plus toe clips and straps, make this a solid choice for both men and women
  • K2 T: Nine Whirlwind Women’s Road Bike

    Lee says: In the words of just about every DJ from the last half century, including “Wolfman” Jack, “This one’s for the ladies!” K2 Sports has built a racing bike that accommodates those subtle physiological differences between men and women. The fork and seat are engineered for women’s bodies, and the handlebars and pedals are designed for smaller hands and feet, because guys and gals are different, and one size does NOT fit all.

    • The 24-speed Whirlwind was designed from the ground up by women to address a woman’s fit form and function on the road, and the lightweight aluminum frame’s geometry and tubing sizes are proportioned for smaller riders
    • The fork and seat post are offset for comfortable positioning and the fork is made with carbon fiber to minimize the bike’s weight and absorb road vibration
    • The drop handlebars are a smaller diameter and the brake levers have an adjustable fit for a shorter reach, and the Dual-density gel-padded women’s-specific saddle provides comfort and support over longer rides
  • Argon 18 Xenon 650 Kids Road Bike

    Lee says: The Argon bicycle has gained quite a following by younger riders, and is a name heard often at multi-sport events, road races, bike-skill contests, and at cycling schools and camps. If you’re shopping for a youngster who is serious about racing, then the Argon might be the answer. The 650 isn’t just a smaller bike, but it has been engineered for younger bodies, with a suitable crank length, and smaller wheel sizes, being the most obvious examples.

    • The Argon 18 Xenon 650 Kids road bike is a little bike for big aspirations, and every aspect has been carefully considered: specially adapted geometry, smaller wheel sizes, and suitable crank lengths
    • The Xenon 650 is suitable for children under 5 ft., and has been race-tested and proven by many young riders throughout North America
    • Argon 18 is the proud sponsor of the Argon 18 Coupe du Quebec racing series, encouraging young racers to develop into the champions of the future

Related Articles

Find the best racing bike without spending a fortune. When selecting a specialized bike, it's essential to be clear on the features that are must-have to save some cash and a lot of wasted time. Always the best price, our race bike recommendations feature high performers from Tommaso, Schwinn, Novara and other great makers of racing bikes.